“Every person has something sacred to share,” said Brother Paul Bednarczyk, CSC, executive director of the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) during the opening of the Share the Sacred workshop for Vocation Ambassadors.
The Brothers of the Christian Schools was one of 14 religious institutes selected to participate in the inaugural program sponsored by the NRVC and funded through a grant of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
“The NRVC Vocation Ambassadors Program provided a wonderful opportunity to learn from other religious congregations about their efforts,” said Brother Chris Patiño, FSC, vocation director for the District of San Francisco New Orleans. “Seeing the number of religious and lay people who are actively engaged in vocation ministry gives witness to the Spirit’s continued movement in our world.”
The workshop brought together teams of three people: a vocation director, a young adult and a communicator. For the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Brother Chris was present as the vocation director; Kenenna Amuzie, the new director of Young Lasallians for the District of San Francisco New Orleans served as the young adult; and Chris Swain, Regional coordinator for Lasallian Vocation Ministry, attended as the communicator.
The goal of the workshop was to enhance and strengthen efforts to promote religious life as a viable option in the Catholic Church, as well as promote the distinct charism, mission and spirituality of religious institutes.
“There was a tremendous sense of faith and hope that religious life continues to be viable option for young people today,” said Brother Chris, “it was a reminder that vocation ministry is always about collaboration and that a true culture of vocation engages all members of the Church.”
Teams put together project plans for strengthening vocation communications to be completed in the next nine months as part of the program and grant reporting.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to collectively recognize our strengths and to find opportunities for continued growth,” said Amuzie. “Coming together as the inaugural group of the Vocation Ambassadors Program also gave me a wonderful opportunity to, not only reflect on how I can be more intentional about promoting a culture of vocations, but also walk away with resources and connections that will serve me well as a vocations ambassador.”
In addition to planning, the program shared best practices in vocation ministry and social media to provide resources for the participants in shaping their plans. The structure of the program also provided opportunities to dialogue about the challenges and blessings of vocation ministry and communication, while giving the young adult participants an opportunity to share their perspectives on what religious orders can do to better reach out and connect with young people.
“I was energized by how we were able to come together, not only from different religious orders, but from a mixed variety of age groups,” said Amuzie. “The desire participants had for helping others find their calling while also continually discerning and responding to how God calls them in their lives.”
Fotos: Courtesy National Religious Vocation Conference